2008-07-11 / Letters

Wake Up Rockaway

Dear Editor,

The recent warm, muggy weather here on the peninsula has most of us craving something refreshing.

I found my refreshment for the week in an excellent letter published in The Wave. I would like to acknowledge and thank Maureen Ritter for her thoughtful letter, "What's Being Done for Rockaway."

Ritter really seems to get the point about reality in the Rockaways - God bless her.

Week after week The, Wave is filled with mounting crime, beach violence, transit inadequacies, murder and mayhem that are plaguing our peninsula more than ever.

And, as if a majority of Wave readers were selectively blind or suffering from tunnel vision - week after week, the letters columns are filled with folks whining about re-zoning, promised (fantasy) YMCA facilities, infighting at the Dayton Towers, and the dog park. Is anyone around here fully awake?

All developers have given us so far are delusional plans for housing being marketed to wealthy Manhattanites, yuppies, and prosperous retirees. This big fantasy is that these people can be enchanted somehow into purchasing overpriced units, simply because of their proximity to the ocean. The few who have invested in the available homes had better love the beach, because in every case, if they stray beyond the beaches and their own blocks, they will be entering high crime, drug ridden, deteriorating neighborhoods where they will discover what fear is. The ocean breeze is unbeatable, just as long as you can avoid leaving your little subdivision to seek out a pharmacy, barber, grocery store or Laundromat.

Politicians have failed miserably as well - I'm still not finished laughing at the new "ferry service for the elite and people with too much time and money on their hands." And I am not laughing alone.

Finally, I do realize that the sacred tradition in the Rockaways is to throw bundles of money and DEVELOP long before considering the needs of the entire community. So please forgive me for identifying a significant stumbling block to improvement on the peninsula - a factor that is large now, and will only get bigger. This factor is people - specifically, the many thousands who live on the eastern 2/3's of this peninsula, who are low-income workers or who, due to age or disability, live on small fixed incomes. We are not going to dry up and blow away. Where is the affordable (including subsidized) decent housing that many of us have been waiting years for?

Wake up, all you who are trying to sleep the sleep of denial.

One day you will have to wake up, and then you will find that your comfortable naps have cost you dearly.

WILLIAM FOREST

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